Humid Basements Could Threaten Our Health

 

Basement is usually the least used and visited area in our home, but it often serves a very functional purpose. Some families use their basement as recreational room or a theater. But most of them use basement as one of the storage spaces, but due to their placement, basements could be affected more easily by dampness and leaks. If improperly built, basements can be flooded during heavy rain, because water may flow through the ventilation. From mold to drainage issues, it’s important to prevent basement from getting damp.

Dampness in the basement may encourage the growth of virus, mildew and mold. These potentially dangerous, disease-causing organisms won’t just stay inside the basement. The vents in the HVAC system could spread them throughout out the home, triggering health issues ranging from headache to respiratory issues. The elderly and children are more vulnerable to respiratory problems caused by spores form mold. People suffering asthma could also be affected strongly.

Insects may find damp basement a convenient breeding ground. All types of bugs from cockroaches to spiders can be attracted to moist and dark spaces. These insects won’t stay forever inside the basement either and they could immediately spread to the rest of the house. Insects won’t only damage the house, but it would also spread disease, making the house a very unpleasant place to live in.

Dampness could also ruin anything we store down there. The furniture, ceilings, walls and floors could become damaged, water stained and musty. Organic-based items like clothing made from cotton and books are more likely to get damaged permanently by moisture. Unlike items made from synthetic material, they are more ideal for bacteria and other microorganisms to grow.

It can’t be understated that we must dehumidify the basement. Dehumidifiers could make basements less ideal space for mold to grow. Realistically, the moisture level should be maintained at about 50 percent to stop the growth of mold.  It’s also important to avoid storing organic-based items in the basement, such as furniture, book, cloth and cardboard. They should be placed above the surface where it’s drier and the air circulates more freely, such as in the attic. In most cases, dehumidifiers should be kept running almost continuously. Probably, the only time when it isn’t humid is during winter, but it’s important to regularly check the humidity level in the basement.